Friday 16 November 2012

How Our Peruvian Ceramic Beads Are Made…. Part 2

This week we continue the explanation on how our ceramic beads in The Peruvian Bead Factory are made, concentrating on the remaining four techniques:

·         Hand painted beads: The basic of this technique is that these beads are painted one by one by hand, each color separately, using a brush. The stages here are different than the other mentioned techniques (from last week posting) because the painting stage is actually being done before glazing the beads, so after the first firing of the clay, the beads are painted by hand with a brush, then fired again in a low temperature just to assure the applied pigments are dry and will not run over the bead when the glaze is applied, then a transparent glaze is applied and the beads enter to the third and last firing cycle. You could say they are fired only twice or twice and a half since the middle firing is fast and in a relatively very low temperature.

Here are two links to categories that are the essence of beads that are hand painted, the popular Peruvian traditional beads: WWW.THEPBFACTORY.COM/hand_made_beads_geometric_type.html and the always popular sport beads: WWW.THEPBFACTORY.COM/sport_beads.html

·         Clay painted beads: A technique that is commonly applied with some of the Animal Shaped Beads, once the clay is fired the beads are being painted with paints that do not require firing so the pieces dry in the air and the process is complete. Models that are developed with this technique are: The Medium bear, The Gorilla and The Chimpanzee.

·         Glazed painted beads: A technique that is very similar to the process of the hand painted bead, only that two stages were combined into one, so instead of applying the different pigments first and then apply the glaze, the application is of a colored glaze which is a mixture of the pigment with a transparent glaze. The technique is commonly used in our multi color shaped beads and also in our animal shaped beads, here are three specific items that are developed using this technique: VW Blue Car, Asst. color Flower and The Medium size Zebra animal bead.

·         Combined painting beads: This technique combines two of the above mentioned techniques: the Hand Painted Beads technique and the Clay Painted Beads technique. The first stages of the process are the same as for the hand painted only that the colored glazes are applied only on a few parts of the bead, then the beads are fired and still has parts of exposed white clay which is then painted with paints that dry in the air – ones that are not fired. There are many Animal Shaped Beads that are developed with the combined painting technique and here are two examples of items made this way:

So as you could read from this note and last week’s post - making ceramic beads can be a pretty complex process and there are many different ways to make them … each technique has its uniqueness and some advantages as well as some flaws… 

The Peruvian Bead Factory

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